Some technical details with ATI 11

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Anon ATI User, May 10, 2008.

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  1. Anon ATI User

    Anon ATI User Registered Member

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    I'm currently evaluating Acronis True Image 11 Home Edition for use on Window Vista Premium. So far I'm happy with it, but I do have a few questions about how it works:

    When I installed the trial version, two new services were installed and some new items were added to startup via the registry. I only intend to create full disk images manually. So it looks like I can disable the "Try and Decide" service. The Acronis scheduling service did seem to need to be running when creating the backup image though. I haven't been able to figure out what the ATI "monitor" process does, though I was able to create a backup without it running. I just want to confirm that I can disable these items.

    Previous disk imaging software that I've used has rebooted out of the OS to create a consistent image. But Acronis does not. As a result, when I restore the image, the first boot brings Windows to the "failed to shut down" screen. Is there any way to prevent this? I'd be ok with ATI rebooting to create the disk image.

    Along a similar line, I've noticed that ATI creates a disk image of files as they existed at the time the backup starts, even if I change them during the backup. And it can do this even if I turn off System Restore (and therefore also volume shadow copy). So my question is, how does it do this? Is it hooked into the OS directly to monitor file system changes?

    I've noticed that the excluded files list does not work when creating a full disk image. That seems reasonable to me. But it would also be useful, so I just want to confirm that there is no way to get this to work.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Look at this sticky, Why Run TI services info about half way down the page under TI problems and solutions. It was posted prior TI11, I think, so Try and Decide isn't mentioned AFAIK.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=29880

    When TI makes an image in Windows it has technology that freezes the contents of the disk and queues up disk activity that is requested after the image starts. Works quite well, problems live-imaging in Windows aren't common. If you want to image a static disk, boot up the TI rescue CD and create the image with it. BTW, the rescue CD is Linux. Seasoned users always recommend making a test restore to a spare drive to ensure the Linux drivers support your hardware properly.

    The Windows failed to shut-down properly may be a TI11 bug, I recall it being mentioned (I'm still at TI9); it is not the way the program is supposed to work.

    TI9 doesn't have the exclude feature so somebody else will have to help you with it.
     
  3. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    TI 10 also does this; it's endemic to the nature of how Vista works. I suspect Vista sets a "dirty" bit on the disk while running and clears it when it shuts down. Upon reboot, it checks this bit to see if the PC was "properly" shut down.

    When you do a "Live" image the OS is running and your image is created with the "dirty" bit set. If you later restore the image and reboot, Windows sees the "dirty" bit set and thinks it never got a proper shut-down signal and you will see the "improperly shut down" error message on first boot.

    You can avoid this by creating the image from the boot CD while Windows is shut down.
     
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Anon ATI User,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for delayed response.

    The "Try and Decide" service is only needed for Try and Decide feature itself. If you aren't planning to use that feature, it's safe to disable the service.

    Please be aware that, as noted by k0lo, Windows Vista keeps track of it's current state, so when a backup is created from Windows, and then restored, on the boot Windows Vista thinks it was shut down incorrectly. It does not affect further system functioning. If you wish to avoid that message, we may recommend you to create images using Acronis Bootable Rescue Media.

    Please notice that Acronis True Image uses snapshot technology which allows backing up of a hard drive in use. Here is a more detailed description:

    Once Acronis True Image initializes the backup process of a volume (which logically corresponds to a single partition, if there are no Dynamic Disks), Acronis Snapshot Manager flushes the file system mounted to that volume temporarily freezing all the operations on the system volume. Immediately thereafter, the Snapshot Manager driver creates a point-in-time view of the system volume and a bitmap describing the used sectors on this volume. Once the bitmap is created, the filter driver unfreezes the I/O operations on the system volume. It generally takes only several seconds to create a point-in-time view of the volume. After that, the operating system continues working as the imaging process is under way.

    Acronis True Image reads the sectors on the system volume according to the created bitmap. Once a sector is read, the appropriate bit in the bitmap is reset. In its turn, the Acronis driver continues working to hold the point-in-time view of the system volume. Whenever the driver sees a writing operation directed at the system volume, it checks whether these sectors are already backed-up, if they are not, the driver saves the data to the sectors that will be overwritten to a special buffer created by the software, then it allows the sectors to be overwritten. Acronis True Image backs up the sectors from the special buffer, so that all the sectors of the point-in-time view of the system volume will be backed up intact. Meanwhile, the operating system continues working and the user will not notice anything unusual in the operating system functionality.

    If we are talking about complex applications such as databases please read the following FAQ article:
    http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/ATIESWin/faq/backup-exchange-server/

    Please notice that an option to exclude files and folders from image backups is available right after you choose the partition/disk you want to save to the backup archive, as shown in this post.

    File exclusion set in Backup Options only affects My Data backups, as described in paragraph 5.3.2 "Source files exclusion" of Acronis True Image 11 Home User's Guide.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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